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Compression of an FRC Plasmoid via Inductively-Driven Metal Liners

Author: George R Votroubek
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2014-06-02 20:37:41

Co-authors: J. Slough, A. Pancotti, A. Shimazu

Contact Info:
8551 154th Ave NE
Redmond, WA   98052

Abstract Text:
A method for achieving fusion relevant temperatures and densities through compression of a Field Reversed Configuration plasmoid (FRC) is presented. The essential enabling element of this approach stems from current research being done at MSNW on the magnetically driven implosion of a metal foil onto an FRC target. In one envisioned implementation of this technique, an array of metallic bands are inductively driven to converge radially and axially onto a target FRC forming a thick, conductive shell surrounding the plasmoid which also compresses the plasmoid to fusion conditions. With inductive drive, the band-like metal liners can be located radially up to several meters from the target implosion site, and the driver coils can be positioned outside the reactor vacuum wall, providing stand-off. The conductive shell also acts as a first wall, absorbing much of the radiant and particle energy from the plasmoid prior to and during fusion burn. Energy absorbed vaporizes and ionizes the liner, which is then either exhausted as mechanical energy, or used to produce electrical energy directly from the back emf as it expands against the initial compression field. The energy from the fusion process is thus utilized at very high efficiency. This, together with the inherent simplicity allows for both low cost and rapid development. It is possible to test most of the critical elements in smaller scale laboratory experiments. A sub-megajoule experiment for concept validation has been constructed and initial multi-liner implosions have been performed with initial aluminum liner radii ranging from 0.05 m up to reactor scale (r ~ 0.4 m). Magnetic compression fields greater than 100 T have been achieved. Results from these tests, including the compression of two merged FRCs will be presented, as well as the gain scaling and reactor parameters relevant to this approach.

Characterization: 1.1,1.2


Workshop on Exploratory Topics in Plasma and Fusion Research (EPR) and US-Japan Compact Torus (CT) Workshop
August 5-8, 2014
Madison, Wisconsin

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